May 9, 2018

Reaching the Elusive OTT Consumer

Susan Engleson Susan Engleson
Senior Director, Emerging Products

In the midst of a continually fragmenting media landscape, advertisers need a holistic view of consumer behavior to better understand and reach target audiences. But some audiences – like OTT streamers – have historically been more challenging to reach than others. Access to new datasets has made it somewhat easier, but with so many options, how can marketers choose the right insights to achieve their campaign goals without breaking the bank?

Earlier this year, comScore launched 21 new advanced audience activation segments covering OTT and subscription video on demand (SVOD) streamers, and console gamers. We’ve received a lot of interest in these segments since the announcement, so I wanted to provide a glimpse into the two I find most interesting: Heavy and Light OTT Streamers. Before jumping into our findings, I think it’s important to provide some clarity on what we define as OTT, how we build these segments and how we differentiate between heavy and light streamers:  

  • Defining OTT: When mentioning OTT, we are referencing any video streamed on OTT devices, defined by the IAB as “a device that can connect to a TV (or functionality within the TV itself) to facilitate the delivery of Internet based video content (Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV’s, game consoles, etc.).” 
  • Building our Segments: These segments are powered by insights from our Total Home Panel (and detailed further in our OTT Intelligence Tool), which is a proprietary measurement asset that captures consumption activity across the connected home.
  • Heavy vs. Light Streamers: Within our Activation segments, we define heavy OTT consumers as the top 50% of streamers in terms of consumption duration, while light OTT streamers represent the bottom half.

Now to the data….

In February 2018, 59MM out of 94MM (63%) US households with Wi-Fi streamed content on OTT devices for an average of 50 hours.  When we break this out by heavy and light consumption, we see a stark difference in streaming intensity:

comScore OTT Intelligence

 
Heavy OTT streamers account for 90% of overall streaming time, and averaged three hours and twenty-two minutes of streaming per day. Light streamers watched much less than that – at only 20 minutes per day.

Some of these differences could be driven by the services these households pay (or do not pay for) – more specifically, whether they have a traditional pay-TV subscription, are cord-cutters or are cord-nevers.

comScore OTT Intelligence

 
You can see here that more light OTT streamers have a pay-TV subscription, and are more likely to split time between traditional TV consumption and OTT streaming. Conversely, we see that a larger percentage of heavy OTT streamers have either cut the cord or avoided “the cord” from the outset – a choice that likely drives greater engagement with streaming services.

Now let’s take a look at demographic skews…

The chart below shows the distribution of non-streamers, light streamers, and heavy streamers by head of household (HoH) age.  Perhaps not surprisingly, homes with a younger HoH stream more heavily (46%), while a large percentage of homes with an older HoH aren’t streaming at all (57%). Looked at another way, we see that roughly 1 in 5 (23%) households with a young HoH aren’t streaming, whereas only 1 in 5 (20%) homes with an older HoH stream heavily.

comScore OTT Intelligence

 
These skews suggest that demographic segments can help in reaching high-value, often-elusive OTT audiences. This is a good start, depending on the goals and budget of a specific campaign, but there will be some waste. Not every millennial is an OTT streamer and not every OTT streamer is a millennial – as demonstrated above –  meaning a certain percentage of impressions will be delivered outside of the intended target of heavy OTT streamers.

This means demographic targeting will work if you’re looking to reach a broader audience that includes OTT consumers. But if reaching streamers – heavy or light – is a key piece of the advertising strategy, audience segments based specifically on OTT consumption intensity provide a much more effective solution. This ensures the campaign reaches only those that are most likely to be heavy streamers – including the older populations – while reducing the number of out-of-target impressions that are delivered to younger consumers who aren’t heavy streamers.

When planning audience targeting strategies against OTT consumption trends, marketers should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each approach as it relates to their goals around cost, efficiency and effectiveness.

comScore can help. To learn how comScore’s demographic and OTT Activation segments can help you achieve your campaign goals, please click here – and for more OTT insights, mark your calendar for our State of OTT Webinar on June 21. 

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